WPI travelers must take an active role in addressing administrative, health and safety concerns inherent to international travel. If you are planning a trip abroad, recognize that certain regions require special considerations due to political, cultural, legal or health-related reasons. Your careful review and consideration of the current state of your travel destination(s) is critical to your trip’s success.

 WPI travelers are advised to take the following steps prior to traveling off campus to help you have a healthy and safe experience. If you have any health and safety questions please contact us.

 

  • Pre- Departure Checklist
    1. Confirm that your trip is WPI-Sponsored
    2. Register your trip
    3. Learn more about International SOS membership and travel medical insurance
    4. Prepare for the health and safety risks in your destination
    5. Understand what to do in an emergency abroad
    6. Obtain any required visas and ensure your passport is current. The expiration date should be more than six months after the end of your trip. If you need a visa to return to the U.S., make sure yours is valid when you return
    7. Make two copies of all-important documents being carried. Leave one copy at home and pack the second copy separate from originals
    8. Make a detailed copy of your itinerary and leave it at home and with your office
    9. Visit a travel health professional to review:
    • significant/chronic physical and mental health conditions or concerns
    • updating immunizations
    • prescriptions you may need to bring abroad

    10. Download the free International SOS Assistance App 

    11. Program the International SOS 24/7 Assistance Line into your phone: 1-215-942-8478

    12. Enroll in STEP – Smart Traveler Enrollment Program. (Only available to U.S. citizens. Non-U.S. citizens should check if their local embassy/consulate offers a similar service and should take steps to enroll. For GPP participants enrollment will be done on your behalf)

    13. If you're transporting research materials, software, or data, review the export control regulations to ensure compliance. For assistance, contact Office of Sponsored Programs

    14. Prepare your smartphone for travel

  • Is your trip WPI-Sponsored Travel?

    WPI-Sponsored travel means all international travel by WPI students, faculty, and staff that is part of academic, scholarly, or business work at WPI.  Such travel may include, but is not limited to travel for: teaching, research, academic study, attendance at a conference, official global project programs, internships, volunteer or work programs and other experiential learning, field studies, performances, athletic contests, trips abroad in connection with a WPI-recognized student organization, academic or administrative unit, and travel funded by a grant, foundation, company, or other university.

  • Register Your Trip

    Registering your WPI-Sponsored trip keeps you connected to WPI resources in the event of an emergency and pre-authorizes your medical insurance coverage

    MyTrips is WPI's International Travel Registry system. All the information on how to register is available on this site. If, however, you have a team or department that would like to be trained on MyTrips we can also come to you. Please contact us to schedule a training. 

    REMINDER: It is mandatory for all WPI students, faculty and staff on WPI-Sponsored trips to register their international travel. 

  • Learn about your International SOS membership

    Students, faculty and staff traveling on WPI-affiliated trips are members of International SOS, which includes travel medical insurance.  

    International SOS (ISOS)* membership includes:

    • 24/7 medical and security consultation
    • Hospital referrals
    • Travel medical insurance
    • Emergency evacuation assistance
    • Emotional Support

    *In order to be pre-authorized to use International SOS, travelers must register their trip.

    For information on the services provided by International SOS and for information on WPI's international travel medical insurance please visit International S0S: 24/7 Travel Assistance.  

    If you have questions about International SOS membership, please contact us

  • International Travel Health and Safety Consultations

    Should you or your group require a pre-departure orientation, the Associate Director of Global Risk Management will assist facilitate one. Use the briefing request form to apply for a health, safety and security pre-departure orientation.

    International SOS Travel Safety Consultations

    • International SOS provides medical and security assistance to WPI travelers.On the International SOS WPI Portal and click on “current security and medical alerts” (left column) for the latest security and medical updates by country.
    • Contact International SOS at 215-942-8478 (WPI Member ID 11BCAS784861) to speak directly with a security or medical professional.

    Travel Health Consultation

    WPI Health Services can provide a travel health consultation by appointment. Contact 508.831.5520 to schedule your next appointment. 

     

Travel Safety Tips

  • Research your Destination

    It's important to thoroughly research your destination before you start a education abroad program. 

    • U.S. Department of State issues information and advisories for every country in the world. They include such information related to embassies/consulates, entry requirements, safety and security, local laws, health, and transportation.
    • U.S. Department of State Students Abroad provides useful, easy-to-access information for students from the U.S. traveling abroad.
    • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offers pre-departure travel advice specifically for education abroad students and travel health advisories.
    • International SOS has security reports for your destination and their experts can give you advice relating to your health, safety, and security. Call their 24/7 Scholastic Assistance Line at 1-215-942-8478, access their web-portal, and download their app.
  • General Tips

    It is important to remember that accidents and crime occur everywhere, every day—even on campus. Staying safe abroad often comes down to applying strategies to reduce exposure to risk or mitigate the impact of an event.

     TRAVEL INFORMED

    Travelers, either novice or intrepid trekkers, should research destination information prior to booking and departing for international locations. It is critical to understand current events, culture, geography, and even the history of the country and region. Travelers should not assume that conditions remain static in foreign countries. Here are some resources to help inform travelers.

     STAY INFORMED

    It is important to remain informed during travel. The best method to do so is registering in the U.S. Department of State Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP). The benefits of STEP include:

    • Receive important information from the Embassy about safety conditions in your destination country, helping you make informed decisions about your travel plans.
    • Help the U.S. Embassy contact you in an emergency, whether natural disaster, civil unrest, or family emergency.
    • Help family and friends get in touch with you in an emergency.
    • Bookmark our website and the International Safety & Security blog to quickly access important information and updates.

     PACK SMART

    Packing smart consists of knowing what to bring and what to leave home. While your packing list may be more extensive, this list is focuses on safety and security considerations.

    GENERAL PRINCIPLES

    • Do not pack more than you can manage by yourself.
    • Leave expensive jewelry at home.
    • Clean out your wallet or purse before departure. Remove everything and set unnecessary items aside, including: voter registration and social security cards; extra credit cards; student identification card; etc. Bring only what is necessary.
    • Ensure that all bags or purses have a secure closure (zipper, zipper plus flap with clasp, etc.).

    HEALTH

    • Pack a small medical kit, with band aids, dressings, and anti-septic.
    • Keep prescriptions, supplements, and other medicines in original container with legible labels; get a prescription for the medication from your doctor.
    • Some countries may require a health certificate stating you have had yellow fever shot. Consult with your health care provider to receive this certificate.

    CLOTHING

    Plan your wardrobe so that it mirrors local expectations. Merely by being a visitor, locals may perceive you as wealthy. While you probably will not “blend in”, you can minimize extra attention.

    • Lightweight clothing to combine in layers.
    • A windproof and rainproof outer layer.
    • Sturdy but comfortable shoes if significant walking may be involved.
    • Footwear for showers and the ocean.
    • Headgear to protect against the sun or rain.

    OTHER ITEMS

    • Do not pack weapons or items that can be perceived as weapons, even in checked baggage. Some countries have very stringent laws on such items.
    • Research the electrical outlet type used in your destination country and purchase the appropriate power plug adapter or voltage converter.
    • Consider bring a phrase book, dictionary, and/or downloading a translation app.
    • Good sunscreen and anti-mosquito cream/gel. It is often cheaper to buy these goods in the U.S, plus the ingredients and effectiveness are known.
    • Small flashlight.
    • Sewing kit: needles, thread, buttons, patches.
    • Tiny mirror.
    • Small whistle for drawing attention in a crisis.
    • Ear plugs for sleeping or concentrating in noisy areas.
    • If possible, obtain local currency in small bills before departure. Remember, small shops and taxis may have difficulty making change (Keep your small bills when possible—because change is difficult, if local vendors see your small bills, they may ask you to pay the equivalent of a large bill in small denominations. Think twice before doing so.).

     HAVE A PLAN: COMMUNICATION

    • Establish a plan for communicating with friends and family prior to departure
      • Determine the platform that will work best for you and your family or friends (call, text, email, Skype, social media, or other programs).
      • Pre-load addresses/phone numbers/screen names and test before traveling.
      • Set times for communicating that are convenient at the destination and at home; consider classes or other required activities that will limit contact.
      • Communicate expected deviations from the schedule in advance and establish a new time to communicate.
      • Establish a plan on what to do if contact is interrupted for longer than 24 hours (share program or peers’ phone numbers).
      • Have realistic expectations regarding the availability and speed of local internet access.
    • Check with your current cell phone provider to determine if your plan will work abroad and how much it will cost.
    • Consider buying or renting an unlocked phone works overseas and then purchasing a sim card upon arrival.
    • If your primary source of access requires internet, verify that your lodging provides internet access and the expected cost.

     HAVE A PLAN: ITINERARY CHANGES

    • Consider how you will make itinerary changes if required.
    • Does your ticket allow for changes?
    • Can you contact your travel agent or the parent company after office hours to make changes?
    • If you must make changes using a local agent, how will you pay?

     HAVE A PLAN: MEDICAL CARE

    • Consider how you will receive medical care if required.
    • How will you find the nearest hospital or specialty provider? This should be an area of individual research prior to departure.
    • We strongly encourage all travelers to purchase a comprehensive international travel and health policy prior to departure. Most international health care facilities will not accept U.S. domestic health insurance, even if the insurance provides coverage. Additionally, the insurance will not usually cover medical evacuation costs if required. You should inquire with your provider regarding policy benefits and coverage amounts.

     BIG CITY TIPS

    Generally, the same tips that travelers apply when visiting big cities in the U.S. also apply while traveling abroad. These actions include:

    • Trust your instincts. If something seems wrong, ask a local or depart the area (with others in your group, never alone).
    • Travel in a group of at least two people, preferably four or more in case the group needs or decides to separate. Agree to group plans before going out and keep the plan.
    • Walk with a purpose. Make eye contact with people but be cautious of people trying to gain your attention and stop you. Without being overly rude, keep moving.
    • Stay in well-lighted and populated areas. Avoid areas with overgrown bushes or other objects where people can hide. Do not take suspect shortcuts through alleys, side streets, or isolated or unlighted areas.
    • Do not wear or carry expensive jewelry or significant amounts of money. Limit the amount of cash or other valuables that you are carrying; ideally, carry only what you need for that day or excursion.
    • Consider carrying a “fake” wallet with the day’s money (above) in U.S. and local currency to provide in the event of a mugging.
    • Keep your valuables in a bag or close to your body.
    • Maintain awareness of what is happening around you. Use only one ear bud and do not focus on your smart phone or other handheld devices.
    • Increase your level of alertness in large crowds where pickpockets may operate. Carry your bags in front of you.
    • Observe how locals dress and mirror as appropriate. While you may not blend with locals, minimize standing out.
    • If traveling any distance at night, use a taxi. Restaurants, clubs, and hotels will usually be happy to call a taxi for you.
    • If you’re confronted by a thief, the police generally advise not to fight back as the robbers could be armed. Instead, stay calm and hand over that small amount of money that you’ve prepared for this possibility. However, you should read local travel advice to know or understand the risk.

     ALCOHOL

    • Before going out, have a plan and follow it. ALWAYS go out and remain in a group.
    • Know your limit and stop before becoming drunk.
    • Never leave your drink(s) unattended.
    • Never accept a drink from a stranger.
    • Do not try to “keep up” with the locals when drinking.
    • Know the local attitude towards drinking and being drunk. In many cultures, being drunk in public is offensive and a crime that will land you in jail.
    • Make sure you know what you are being served. Avoid questionable beverages as some homemade or illegal alcohol can be dangerous.

     PHOTOGRAPHY

    • Know customs regarding photographing people. Ask about special classes or categories of people, such as children, religious adherents or those living in a more traditional manner. If there is any question, always seek permission and err on the side of caution. Follow any program guidance you may be given.
    • Avoid photographing sensitive buildings or infrastructure, such as border areas, military installations, airports, or “utility” infrastructure.
    • Pay attention when taking “selfies” and avoid dangerous situations. Avoid culturally inappropriate or thoughtless poses.
    • Be careful what you share on social media, particularly while still in that country. Travelers are occasionally detained for their social media posts.

     MONEY & CREDIT CARDS

    • Consider how you will access money while abroad. Financial institutions in many countries do not accept traveler’s checks today. If ATMs are present, U.S. credit cards (Visa and MasterCard) will work in many countries, but fraud is always a risk.
    • Before travel, alert your bank and credit card companies that you will be abroad or your accounts may be frozen when the cards are used. You should also inquire regarding exchange rates and fees for using credit cards abroad.
    • If bringing newer U.S. currency, carry the most current “version” of the bills with no markings or discolorations. Bank, currency exchangers, hotels, and other businesses may refuse older or marked bills for fear of counterfeiting.
    • Pay with small bills or credit card whenever possible.
    • Only exchange currency at official locations; unofficial or “black market” transactions are usually illegal and may lead to arrest. Such transactions are also more prone to lead to crime.
    • Try to use ATMS inside a building. Bring a travel companion when using an ATM and keep watch for each other.
    • Shield your hand when entering your PIN at a bank ATM.
    • Check for obvious signs of skimmers being attached to an ATM before use.

    Remember, petty criminals often seek the easiest “mark” or victim. If you make yourself harder to target than those around you, the odds of being robbed decrease. This is one aspect where it is good to stand out from the crowd.

    With thanks to University of Illinois International Safety and Security Office

    • Consider the potential BENEFITS OF TRAVELING 'GRAY'
      • Being gray, or not drawing attention to oneself, on trips can help reduce the chances of being targeted by criminals and terrorists or singled out for untoward government attention.
      • Presenting a neutral facade is not just a matter of racial or ethnic appearance. It also involves demeanor, dress and possessions.
      • Being gray while traveling abroad means fading into the crowd, appearing neither valuable nor vulnerable.
  • Situational Awareness
    • Always be alert within your environment and public places
    • Develop a buddy system with your classmates
    • Report and know how to report suspicious activity
    • If you are approached by a stranger, exercise caution. If they engage you in a way that feel unusual or off-putting, extract yourself from the situation and do not worry about being rude. Report what happened to your program director or a trusted local contact.
    • Limit time spent at popular tourist sites, crowded public areas, or high profile events
    • Reduce location identifiers on social media
    • Walk where there is a barrier present between traffic and pedestrians when possible
    • Avoid traveling alone especially at night
    • Do not wear expensive clothes, jewelry or carry expensive luggage
    • Avoid arriving late at night in cities with which you are not familiar
    • Stay on well-lit, heavily-traveled streets
    • Avoid shortcuts through alleys and walking close to the street or buildings
    • Walk against the flow of traffic so you are aware of oncoming vehicles
    • Whenever possible, speak the local language
    • Be aware of pickpockets, especially in large cities
    • If you are the victim of a robbery, do not resist or try to confront the person afterward. Report what happened to your program director or a trusted local contact.
    • Never leave your belongings unattended
    • Be aware of local customs and traditions
    • Keep up with local news
    • Familiarize yourself with the city and the neighborhood. Avoid relying on your cellphone for navigation (it makes it obvious you are a tourist!)
    • If you encounter a corrupt police officer requesting payment for an unjustified fine, remain patient and friendly. Keep a consistent reason as to why you cannot pay the fine. If the officer doesn't relent, request to speak to their superior officer.
    • Do not misuse alcohol and abide by WPI's zero-tolerance drug use policy. Consuming mind-altering substances in a foreign environment can be dangerous.
    • Never accept a drink from a stranger or leave a drink unattended.
    • Do not participate in any demonstrations and protests. Even those with peaceful intentions may become unsafe and/or involve negative confrontations with local law enforcement. If you are accidentally caught up in a demonstration, leave the area as soon as it is safe to do so

    Content Acknowledgment - With thanks to MSU Office of International Health and Safety 

  • International SOS Security Consultation
    • International SOS provides medical and security assistance to WPI travelers.  On the International SOS WPI Portal and click on “current security alerts” (left column) for the latest security updates by country.
    • Contact International SOS at 215-942-8478 (WPI Member ID 11BCAS785861) to speak directly with a security professional.
  • U.S. Department of State Travel Advisories and Embassy Information
    1. Register with the U.S. Embassy or Consulate in your program country through the State Department Smart Traveler Enrollment Program.
    2. Find out where your home country’s closest embassy/consulate is located.
      • U.S. citizens: U.S. State Department
      • Non-U.S. citizens: please check with your nationality’s foreign affairs ministry or State Department-equivalent
    3. Become familiar with U.S. State Department Services for U.S. citizens.
    4. Know where to look for U.S. State Department announcements.
    • Embassy Notices are announcements from a U.S. embassy or consulate in a specific country. These announcements update citizens about a possible event that may cause disruptions in parts of the country and advises citizens on maintaining their safety. You will receive Embassy Notices after you sign up with STEP.
    • The Worldwide Caution is a general announcement from Washington, D.C. advising U.S. citizens about the general risk of international travel, especially from acts of terrorism.
    • Travel Advisories are announcements for events the U.S. State Department thinks travelers should know about when planning travel to a country. There are four levels of advisory. GEO does not support student travel to any country in Level 3 [Reconsider Travel] or Level 4 [Do not travel] with a petition.  Contact us for more information.

     

  • On the Road
    • Select the safest form of transportation in your area
    • Understand how seasonal hazards affect road conditions
    • Pedestrians should be aware of traffic patterns and regulations 
    • Be alert and wear reflective clothing if jogging at dusk or dawn
    • Do not walk where you cannot be seen 
    • Never hitchhike 
    • Always ride in the back seat of a taxi cab
    • Wear a seatbelt whenever possible
    • Avoid late night road travel

    Shared Economy Transportation

    Using the shared economy is becoming more prevalent for domestic and international travel. All aspects of travel entail some degree of risk, to include using traditional and shared economy lodging and transportation. Global Experience Office does not endorse using shared economy resources; the decision to do so is a personal or programmatic decision. Before arrangements are made, travelers should conduct extensive research for themselves and make informed decisions.

    • Never take a ride if you are uncomfortable with the driver or vehicle. Your safety comes first. Always trust your instincts.
    • Arrange for pickup in a public location. Some services allow you to share your plans with contacts; if so, let others know your arrangements.
    • Take advantage of safety features that allow you to identify the driver and vehicle before arrival. Verify that information when the vehicle arrives (license plate, type of vehicle). If available, track vehicle progress and estimated arrival to your location.
    • While driving to your location, monitor the route that is being taken against the suggested route.
    • Understand how insurance works if you are injured. Are you covered by the company or by the driver’s insurance?

    With thanks to MSU Office of International Health and Safety and University of Illinois International Safety and Security Office. 

  • Swimming and Water Activities
    • Know your swimming abilities.
    • Be sure you are swimming in a safe location – whenever possible, swim in a location with lifeguard staff.
    • Be mindful of ocean currents, riptides, and undertows.
    • Use the buddy system while swimming.
    • When swimming in a group, conduct a headcount before entering the water and immediately upon exiting the water.
    • Do not consume alcohol before or during swimming or water activities.
  • Fire

    Content Acknowledgment - With thanks to MSU Office of International Health and Safety 

  • Document Safety
    • Make two photocopies of your passport, including the photo page, and any other travel documentation such as a visa. Leave a copy with your emergency contact at home and pack a second copy separately from the original.
    • In some locations, you may need to carry your passport with you. You are advised to use a money belt to keep your passport close to your person at all times.
    • If it is not necessary to carry your passport with you, carry a photocopy of your passport instead.
    • If your passport is lost or stolen while abroad, file a report with local police. Do not delay in replacing your passport with the nearest Embassy or Consulate.
    • If you require a visa to enter the United States, do not forget to bring your documents with you abroad.
  • Housing

    Rental (AirBnB) Tips:

    Using the shared economy is becoming more prevalent for domestic and international travel. All aspects of travel entail some degree of risk, to include using traditional and shared economy lodging and transportation. Global Experience Office does not endorse using shared economy resources; the decision to do so is a personal or programmatic decision. Before arrangements are made, travelers should conduct extensive research for themselves and make informed decisions. 

    If you intend to use AirBnB, please review these safety tips.

    • Rent the entire unit - not just a room, bed, or sofa. There should be no other occupants than you and, if applicable, your WPI group.
    • Whenever possible, chose a rental with a business certification and amenities similar to a hotel.
    • Only choose a rental with a history of positive reviews and a high rating.
    • If you have the address, try to research the neighborhood and surrounding community.
    • If you have doubts about the safety of the location, trust your instincts and look for something else.
    • Ask and confirm the price ahead of time. Keep in mind any currency exchanges and confirm the method of payment before you arrive.
    • If using AirBnB, you should only communicate and pay your host through AirBnB. Do not wire them money or provide your credit card details remotely.
    • Let trusted contacts know where you are staying. Give them the address, host's name, and contact information.
    • If you are arriving alone, tell someone you will check in with them after your scheduled initial meeting to report you are safe.
    • Once you arrive, check the entire unit for any cameras, strange wires, or electronics that seem out of place - these could be used for surveillance.
    • Remember to look in closets and cabinets, inspect the smoke detector, and check if the door and window locks are secure.
    • AirBnB's Safety Suggestions, FAQ, and Company Contact Information

    General Housing Tips

    • Lock your doors and windows when you leave and when you're home (even if you're only stopping in for a few minutes).
    • If someone knocks on your door, look through the peephole before opening. If you do not recognize them, question them through the door if it feels safe to do so.
    • Do not prop open exterior locked doors.
    • If you have roommates, communicate with each other when you are having guests over. Do not lend out your keys and urge your roommates to not lend out theirs.
    • Ensure you are aware of the emergency exit from your unit and your building.
    • If an unfamiliar person is hanging around outside your building or door, call a trusted local contact or the police for guidance.
    • Remember to close your window shades at night.
    • If a repair or service person shows up unexpectedly, you are not obligated to automatically let them in. Instead, call your landlord/host/roommates to confirm a scheduled appointment and their legitimacy.
    • Do not post identifying information about your housing location online. Be selective with what information you share on social media.

    Content Acknowledgment - With thanks to MSU Office of International Health and Safety 

  • IT Abroad

    We often do not think about Information Technology (IT) security while on campus, relying on IT administrators to act on our behalf to keep our systems functioning and secure. Travelers need to recognize that while abroad, more threats to IT security abound. There are steps that travelers should take before, during, and after travel to increase IT security.

    Before Travel

    • Awareness. The first step is to simply be aware that additional threats may exist abroad. Knowing that travelers often use public wireless (Wi-Fi) connections, criminal and occasionally government organizations may seek to gain access to IT products.
    • Export Control. Certain countries require extra preparation and certification prior to traveling with IT. Please review the University’s Export Control website for more information.
    • Anti-Virus and Program Updates. Anti-virus provides a base level of protection, but the threat is always changing. Travelers should ensure that they have installed the latest update from their provider.
    • Download a VPN. The University WebStore offers virtual private network (VPN) software that connects users to the campus network. You can run this product on your home, work, or portable computers as long as you maintain student or staff status at the University of Illinois. Learn more about the University VPN.
    • Download Relevant Documents. Bandwidth and/or a strong internet connection may be limited in your destination country. Be sure to download all relevant documents prior to departure.
    • Passwords. Strong passwords are another facet of IT security. Consider changing your passwords before travel and using the strongest ones possible, including capital and small letters, numbers, and special characters. Avoid the use of words in the dictionary and personal information (names, birth dates, etc.).
    • Log-In Password. If you do not already use them, create passwords to log into your computer, tablet, or other devices.
    • Travel Light. Finally, more devices also mean more opportunity for loss or compromise. Consider limiting devices to those that you really need; if you require your laptop for a presentation, forego bringing your tablet as well.
    • Insurance for University Electronics. University property is automatically insured, but with a $500,000 deductible. This insurance should not be relied upon for traveling with computers due to the high deductible. The University offers a Computer Insurance Plan that can cover computers and other electronic equipment with a lower deductible. However, this coverage is not automatic. Colleges, Departments, or units must contact Risk Management if they want to participate in this plan. Visit the Risk Management website for more information.

    While not directly related to IT security, research whether you will need an adapter or converter to charge your devices. Many devices can operate on 110v or 220v, but you will likely still require an adapter for the plug.

    During Travel

    • Turn Wi-Fi Off. Monitor your connection to networks. One way to do this is to turn your Wi-Fi off when not in use. When you need access, turn it on and manually select which network you will join.
    • Shared Computers. The chance for password compromise is higher when using shared devices. If using a shared computer (internet café, computer lab, etc.), do not log into secure sites requiring your password (bank, credit card, etc.).
    • Change Passwords. If you believe your password has been compromised, immediately change your password. Use different passwords for each account to limit the number of passwords that you will need to change if one is compromised.
    • Use Secure Networks. When logging into websites that should be secure, ensure that you see httpS:// in the address instead of http://.
    • University E-mail. If logging into your University e-mail, use the University's online Outlook Web App for additional security. Learn more about the Outlook Web App.
    • Pop-Ups and Links. Be careful in clicking on pop-ups when using hotel networks. They may be used to download malicious software. If in question, go directly to the software website. Be alert to suspicious e-mails.
    • Physical Control. Whenever possible, keep your IT devices with you to avoid physical compromise of your devices.

    After Travel

    • Change Passwords. Once you return, you should change your passwords, especially if you suspect your system may have been compromised.
    • Update Anti-Virus. Check for updates to your anti-virus software and run a full scan.
    • Inform IT. If you traveled with a University device and believe it may have been compromised or it is not operating normally, please inform your IT department.

    Much of this information was developed using the guidance provided by the Overseas Security Advisory Council's “Quick Guide on Best Practices.”

    With thanks to University of Illinois International Safety and Security Office

  • Crime

    It is important to remember that crime can occur anywhere at any time, even while on campus. There are strategies to reduce a traveler’s susceptibility to becoming a victim of crime, but no precautions can prevent all crime.

    Travel Advisories & Advisory Reports

    While crime can occur anywhere, there are locations that experience more or less crime than other areas. We encourage travelers to review the U.S. Department of State Travel Travel Advisory for their destination country or countries to understand potential concerns with crime. Another option to learn more is by reading the Overseas Security Advisory Council (OSAC) Country Report for each destination country by using the Region Locator search on the right-hand side of the OSAC website.

     BIG CITY

    Many ideas for reducing susceptibility to crime are the same around the world, regardless of location.

    • Trust your instincts. If something seems wrong, ask a local or depart the area (with others in your group, never alone).
    • Travel in a group of at least two people, preferably four or more in case the group needs or decides to separate. Agree to group plans before going out and keep the plan.
    • Walk with a purpose. Make eye contact with people but be cautious of people trying to gain your attention and stop you. Without being overly rude, keep moving.
    • Stay in well-lighted and populated areas. Avoid areas with overgrown bushes or other objects where people can hide. Do not take suspect shortcuts through alleys, side streets, or isolated or unlighted areas.
    • Do not wear or carry expensive jewelry or significant amounts of money. Limit the amount of cash or other valuables that you are carrying; ideally, carry only what you need for that day or excursion.
    • Consider carrying a “fake” wallet with the day’s money (above) in U.S. and local currency to provide in the event of a mugging.
    • Keep your valuables in a bag or close to your body.
    • Maintain awareness of what is happening around you. Use only one ear bud and do not focus on your smart phone or other handheld devices.
    • Increase your level of alertness in large crowds where pickpockets may operate. Carry your bags in front of you.
    • Observe how locals dress and mirror as appropriate. While you may not blend with locals, minimize standing out.
    • If traveling any distance at night, use a taxi. Some restaurants, clubs, and hotels may have a concierge service that will call a taxi for you or provide a number for you to call.
    • If you’re confronted by a thief, the police generally advise not to fight back as the robbers could be armed. Instead, stay calm and hand over that small amount of money that you’ve prepared for this possibility. However, you should read local travel advice to know or understand the risk.

     

     ALCOHOL

    General principles or ideas also apply to staying safe before or while using alcohol. Alcohol use does contribute to some incidents of crime.

    • Before going out, have a plan and follow it. ALWAYS go out and remain in a group.
    • Know your limit and stop before becoming drunk.
    • Never leave your drink(s) unattended.
    • Never accept a drink from a stranger.
    • Do not try to “keep up” with the locals when drinking.
    • Make sure you know what you are being served. Avoid questionable beverages as some homemade or illegal alcohol can be dangerous.

     

     LEGAL ISSUES

    Travelers must also understand various legal considerations while abroad, particularly in regard to committing risky or illegal activities.

    • Remember that you are under the legal jurisdiction of your host country. Every country has differing legal systems and rights for the accused.
    • Infractions that are minor in the United States could be assigned a much higher penalty in another country.
    • Illegal drug and alcohol use could land you in jail.
    • In the event that you are arrested abroad, you should request authorities contact the local U.S. Embassy.
    • Illinois does not provide legal counsel to travelers abroad.

     

     MONEY

    Travelers should arrange to safeguard their cash and credit cards and apply general strategies to reduce the chances of being a victim of crime.

    • Consider how you will access money while abroad. Financial institutions in many countries do not accept traveler’s checks today. If ATMs are present, U.S. credit cards (Visa and MasterCard) will work in many countries, but fraud is always a risk.
    • Before travel, alert your bank and credit card companies that you will be abroad or your accounts may be frozen when the cards are used. You should also inquire regarding exchange rates and fees for using credit cards abroad.
    • If bringing newer U.S. currency, carry the most current “version” of the bills with no markings or discolorations. Bank, currency exchangers, hotels, and other businesses may refuse older or marked bills for fear of counterfeiting.
    • Pay with small bills or credit card whenever possible.
    • Only exchange currency at official locations; unofficial or “black market” transactions are usually illegal and may lead to arrest. Such transactions are also more prone to lead to crime.
    • Try to use ATMS inside a building. Bring a travel companion when using an ATM and keep watch for each other.
    • Shield your hand when entering your PIN at a bank ATM.
    • Check for obvious signs of skimmers being attached to an ATM before use.

     

     IDENTITY THEFT

    Crime related to Information Technology, particularly identity theft, may occur while abroad. Travelers should take basic steps while abroad to reduce the risk.

    • Shared Computers. The chance for password compromise is higher when using shared devices. If using a shared computer (internet café, computer lab, etc.), do not log into secure sites requiring your password (bank, credit card, etc.).
    • Change Passwords. If you believe your password has been compromised, immediately change your password. Use different passwords for each account to limit the number of passwords that you will need to change if one is compromised.
    • Use Secure Networks. When logging into websites that should be secure, ensure that you see httpS:// in the address instead of http://.
    • Pop-Ups and Links. Be careful in clicking on pop-ups when using hotel networks. They may be used to download malicious software. If in question, go directly to the software website. Be alert to suspicious e-mails.

    With thanks to University of Illinois International Safety and Security Office

  • Information and Options for Survivors of Sexual Misconduct Abroad

    If you are sexually assaulted while abroad it is important to remember it is NOT your fault. The following information and resources are available for survivors who wish to learn about or utilize them - however, not all survivors of sexual misconduct need or seek immediate medical attention, or are interested in reporting. 

    Assessing Safety

    A safety plan, particularly in cases of relationship violence and stalking, can also be an important step towards safety. A safety plan is a personalized, practical plan that includes ways to remain safe while in a relationship, planning to leave, or after you leave. More information is available at the National Domestic Violence Hotline, and CARE staff are available to talk and help develop a plan with you.

    If you are sexually assaulted it is important to remember it is NOT your fault. It is also important to carefully consider your next steps to ensure your safety.

    1. Are you in a safe place? If not, call a trusted friend, classmate, or administrator to come get you or assist in getting you to safety.
    2. Do you need to seek medical attention? If so, make sure to do so immediately. International SOS can help you identify a medical care facility. Please visit our International SOS WPI Portal for International Insurance contact information.
    3. Do you want to report the sexual assault (either in the country you are in or to the University)?
    • Every country has different laws surrounding sexual assault and, as visitors to that country, you are expected to follow them. For assistance in determining if it is safe to report the sexual assault, you may contact the Associate Director of Global Risk Management or WPI Title IX Coordinator
    • If you would like to report the sexual assault to the University, you can either speak with the WPI Title IX Coordinator  who can assist with reporting or visit the WPI Title IX webpage for more information and options available to you.
    • If you determine that you would like to report the sexual assault and press charges, make sure to do a self-collection of evidence. Put all clothes, linens, and other evidence in a paper bag. Collect any bodily fluids to the best of your ability by putting them in a container and into a paper bag. If you have any injuries, take pictures immediately.

    Medical Assistance

    Medical attention can be made available for survivors of sexual and relationship violence. This attention can be for physical, emotional, and sexual health needs, as well as to complete a forensic exam. Access to a forensic exam will vary depending on local resources.​

    If you are physically injured, seek medical attention as soon as possible, even if you do not wish to report the sexual assault. If you feel comfortable, reach out to a trusted friend or classmate to accompany you. Having someone who can be your support system can be very comforting.

    International SOS can assist with locating a medical facility and scheduling an appointment for you. You can also seek care at the medical facility of your choosing.

    If you would like to talk with a mental health provider about the sexual assault utilize the emotional support services provided by International SOS.

     SEXUAL MISCONDUCT POLICY & TITLE IX

    The Title IX Office supports students, faculty, and staff who are impacted by discrimination, harassment, or sexual misconduct. Specifically, the Title IX Office can help students who experience sexual misconduct:

    • connect with on-campus and off-campus resources, including medical, counseling, immigration, student financial aid, and legal resources;
    • request interim measures such as no-contact directives from the University, or housing, academic, working, or transportation accommodations

     RESOURCES

    Definitions: This is an important distinction to understand in cases where you do not wish you report a sexual assault. Please know there are still services available to you, and you should not hesitate to reach out to confidential resources.

    • Non-Confidential Resource: A person, or organization, that is required by law to report known instances of sexual misconduct to the Title IX office.
    • Confidential Resource: A person, or organization, that is not required by law to report known instances of sexual misconduct. This could be a religious organization, a mental health professional, International SOS etc.

    For guidance or resources for reporting sexual assault:

    • Non-Confidential Resources:
      • Global Experience Office
      • Title IX Office

    With thanks to MSU Office of International Health and Safety, University of Illinois International Safety and Security Office and Northwestern's Global Safety and Security Office. 

Travel Health Tips

  • International SOS Medical Alerts and Consultation

    International SOS provides medical and security assistance to WPI travelers.On the International SOS WPI Portal click on “current medical alerts” (left column) for the latest medical updates by country.

    Contact International SOS at 215-942-8478 (WPI Member ID 11BCAS785861) to speak directly with a travel medical professional.

    Visit the International SOS WPI Portal

  • Mental Health

    Maintaining good mental health is an important aspect of a successful international experience. Travel abroad often presents emotionally challenging settings and experiences. Travelers may find that familiar support networks, medications, and health services are not available or are considerably different from the United States. Preparing for these differences is key to maintaining good mental health abroad.

    We encourage to consult with your health care provider about your plan to go abroad and how you will maintain your mental health abroad. Your health is your responsibility, no one else can prepare you better for your own heath needs.

    Before you Leave:

    It's important to discuss your physical and mental health needs with your primary care physician and/or a travel health professional well in advance of your travel. The SDCC staff and/or International SOS can advise you on managing any health conditions abroad. For example, some anxiety medications interact negatively with malaria-prevention medications and cause unintended side effects. Also, many medications commonly prescribed in the US for anxiety, depression, and ADHD cannot be legally brought into other countries. You'll need to discuss alternatives with your physician well in advance of travel.

    While Abroad:

    If you're not sure if you're experiencing symptoms related to a mental health condition, you can take advantage of a free online screening tool available through Mental Health America.You may also want to take advantage of counseling services available through international SOS.​

    PRE-EXISTING MENTAL HEALTH DIAGNOSES

    If you see a mental health care provider regularly and you want to maintain care while abroad, you may utilize International Insurance to find and schedule appointments with an in-country provider abroad. Be sure to consult with your primary mental health provider about your plan to study abroad. They can help you develop a mental health care plan for your time abroad that best suits you. Please visit the Your Health Abroad page on the U.S. Department of State website for more information.

    PRESCRIPTION MEDICATION

    Do not assume your medications will be available or legal in your destination country. If you take prescription medication, reach out to International Insurance to discuss the legality and availability of your prescription in your destination country. If your prescription is not legal or available, International Insurance may identify other medications that are available. It is critical to consult with your health care provider to select the medication that is best for you. Once you and your provider have identified medications, consult with International Insurance to create a plan for obtaining your medication while in-country. For more information about traveling with medication, visit the Traveling Abroad with Medicine page on the CDC website or contact International SOS for more information.

     CULTURE SHOCK & STRESS

    Adjusting to a new culture takes time and can often take a toll on your immune system and/or mental health. The disorientation you may experience as you settle into your destination country is called culture shock. Everyone experiences culture shock differently and it is important to understand what may cause it, how to identify it, and how to support your well-being.

    Culture shock is often the result of compounding effects such as jetlag, drinking, stress, language barriers, and other new experiences. Culture shock may cause depression, sleep loss, appetite changes, mood swings, sluggishness, further stress, and anxiety. It is important to look out for these signs of culture shock and mitigate the effects by:

    • Making sure to take the time for self-care and stress management;
    • Trying to maintain your regular self-care and stress management routines while abroad;
    • Maintaining a healthy diet;
    • Sticking to an exercise and sleep schedule;
    • Continuing to take medications as directed, even if you feel you no longer need it, and
    • Utilizing International Insurance to schedule an appointment to meet with a mental health provider as needed.

     RESILIENCY

    Resiliency is the ability to respond or “bounce back” in difficult or trying situations. International travel will often bring individuals face-to-face with adversity in a new culture, at the same time as potentially limiting support from established social networks.

    There are multiple ways to build resiliency, and each individual will respond differently to the situations and actions to improve resiliency. It is important to understand that no two solutions will be the same, so individuals need to find what works for them. However, certain strategies are prevalent in dealing with adverse situations.

    • Maintain support networks. Before departure, plan for how you will communicate while abroad and maintain contact with your support network. Establish new sources of support where you are.
    • Maintain your physical health. Physical health is a key aspect of resiliency. Eat well, get as much sleep as possible, and participate in physical activities.
    • Remember your past achievements. Consider how you overcame similar challenges in the past. Do not simply give up or feel that a situation is beyond your ability; can you apply strategies and actions that previously worked for you?
    • Look to the future. Adopt a positive mindset and focus on what you can do moving forward. Do not focus on past mistakes that. Create plan for how you will respond and “celebrate” your achievements.
    • Relieve stress. Find activities that you enjoy and make time for them every day. It is important to take a break and stop thinking about the challenges. Learn to play a local instrument, take up knitting, or learn to draw!
    • Seek assistance. If you need assistance, reach out and ask! It is not a sign of weakness or failure to let people know that you are struggling. Seek professional assistance if necessary; International Insurance can arrange for counseling if required.

    Content Acknowledgment - With thanks to University of Illinois' International Safety and Security Office

  • Medication and Allergies
    • Consult with travel health professional before bringing any medication abroad.
    • Bring enough medication for your entire time abroad (plus some extra). It may not be possible to refill your medication abroad.
    • Note that some medications commonly prescribed in the United States, for example, Ritalin, cannot be legally brought into other countries. Discuss your options with a travel health professional. 
    • If you are traveling with medication or medical devices, for example, syringes or medication that must be refrigerated, review the Transportation Security Administration guidance for passing through airport security
    • Pack all medication in your carry-on bag (not in checked luggage). You do not want to be without your medication if your bags are lost.
    • All prescription medication should be in its original packaging with your name on it.
    • All over-the-counter medication, for example, Tylenol, should be in its original packaging.
    • If you have significant food allergies, you may consider purchasing some translation cards for food and drug allergies, special diets, and medical needs

    With thanks to MSU Office of International Health and Safety

  • Immunizations
  • Food and Water Safety
    • Make sure you know whether the local water is safe to drink. Consult with International SOS by phone (1-215-942-8478) or online.
    • In areas where the water is not drinkable, only drink bottled water. Do not put ice in your beverages.
    • In areas with a hot climate, prevent dehydration by drinking plenty of bottled water.
    • Select food that is thoroughly cooked, fresh, and served hot. 
    • Avoid food sold by street vendors. If you plan to eat adventurously while abroad, consult a travel health professional before you leave for recommendations.
    • Avoid fresh fruits and vegetables unless you can peel them yourself.
    • Avoid dairy products that have not been pasteurized. 

    Content acknowledgment to MSU Office of International Health and Safety

  • Animals
    • Do not pet stray animals.
    • Prevent animal bites by avoiding direct contact with wild or captive animals. if you are traveling on a program that involves working with animals, follow the safety advice of professionals.
    • If you are bitten by an animal, seek local medical care. You may call International SOS for advice.
    • You may be unfamiliar with the local animal species, including whether an animal if venomous or dangerous. Research your destination in advance and contact with local, trusted experts.
    • Dress appropriately. In some areas, you may need to wear closed-toe shoes and long pants.
    • Use insect repellent if you are traveling to a location with mosquito-borne diseases like malaria or Zika. Consult with a travel health professional for more specific advice.

    Content acknowledgement to MSU Office of International Health and Safety

Supporting Diversity Off Campus

Global Experience Office recognizes that different aspects of your identity may impact your experience abroad. We encourage all travelers to reflect on the different aspects of their identity when preparing for travel abroad.

Considerations

How you identify in the United States may not be how you choose to identify abroad and may not be how you are identified by your destination country. We encourage all travelers to research your destination country’s history, culture, laws, and demographics.

Please consult the following resources as you consider and prepare for your experience off campus.

  • LGBTQIA+ Students

    LGBTQIA+ travelers: You can enhance the safety and comfort of your travel experience by considering how the laws, culture, and social norms of your destination may affect your experience. Don't hesitate to contact us with questions.

    RESEARCH the LGBTQIA+ climate of your host country. Explore different resources such as newspapers, LGBTQIA+friendly travel guides, and e-magazines to gain a better understanding of what the social perception is of members of the LGBTQIA+ community.

    Review the U.S. Department of State's country information pages for current and up to date information specific to LGBTQIA+ travelers (under Local Laws & Special Circumstances) and section 6 of the Department of State's Human Rights report for further details.

    TALK with other LGBTQIA+ and allied people about their experiences in specific countries or regions.

    UNDERSTAND the context, customs, laws and attitudes in your host country.  Similar expressions or behaviors may have vastly different meanings in different places.  In some locations open expressions of your sexual orientation might be criticized.

    Keep in mind that once outside the United States you are no longer protected by U.S. laws.  If same-sex acts are illegal in your host country and you are caught engaging in them, or presumed to have engaged in them, you could be arrested and imprisoned in that country.

    It is important to reflect on the culturally based ideas and definitions of sexual identity and consider carefully how your identity as a LGBTQIA+ person may affect your relationships with host country nationals, your cultural adjustment, and your overall off campus experience.

    Questions for LGBTQIA+ Travelers to Consider

    About You:

    • How open will I be about my sexual orientation and gender identity with my teachers, peers, friends, host family, and others?
    • How important is it to me to find other LGBTQIA+ travelers and friends while abroad? How will I make connections with LGBTQIA+ students, colleagues, local residents, or community organizations? What are my expectations about seeking and finding community?
    • Will I need access to any medications, supplies, or services due to my transgender status? Are they available in my host country? If not, will I need any additional documentation to travel with my medication or supplies?
    • What are my safety needs and perceptions, and how can they best be met? Is the program able to make accommodations for students who request single rooms, private baths, or specific roommates?
    • What resources are available in my host country for LGBTQIA+ people?

    About the Culture of Your Host Country:

    • What are the cultural attitudes toward sexual orientation and gender identity in my host country?
    • What are considered typical male and female social behaviors, customary gender relations, and social patterns in the host country?
    • What may make the coming out process different in the host country compared to the U.S.?
    • What are the norms and behavioral expectations within LGBTQIA+ communities in my host country?
    • What is the social perception of lesbian, gay, and bisexual people in my host country? How are LGBTQIA+ people socially defined? What roles do transgender people play in the host culture?

    About Your Host Country's Laws:

    • Are there "public indecency/decency" laws? Or any laws that criminalize same-sex sexual relationships, or ways men and women socially interact?
    • What is the age of consent? Does it differ for heterosexual versus same-sex couples?
    • Does the law require having "proper documentation" at all times?
    • What is the general police attitude toward the local LGBTQIA+ community?
    • Is the law applied the same in rural areas as in urban areas?

    About Perceptions of People from the U.S and LGBTQIA+ People:

    • What's the attitude of local residents toward people from the U.S., people of other nationalities, "tourists," and LGBTQIA+ "tourists"?
    • What's the general police attitude towards the same as above?
    • What's the general police attitude toward LGBTQIA+ people who are visiting the country?

    Tips to keep in mind

    • If you experience difficulties, don’t be afraid to contact the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate. They are available 24/7 at every embassy who provide emergency assistance to Americans. They won’t pass judgment on you and will protect your privacy.
    • Be alert and try to avoid potentially unsafe environments. Look out for yourself and your friends, especially late at night.
    • Use discretion. As an American, you may already stand out. Outside gay neighborhoods or resorts, public displays of affection may draw even more attention.

    Housing: WPI houses off-campus program participants in a variety of accommodations. Most students live in self-catered apartments, some are in residence halls, and others are in houses. Be sure that you research housing options will make you comfortable. You can find more details on eProjects and contact Global Experience Office via phone (508-831-4804) or email (global@wpi.edu) to review questions or set up an appointment to discuss your options.    

    With thanks to ASU Study Abroad and MSU Office of International Health and Safety for content and layout. 

    Resources:

    Disclaimer: Global Experience Office provides the following links for informational purposes only. However, we cannot guarantee the accuracy of the information contained in the linked websites and do not specifically endorse any organization, information, or products associated with those websites. We encourage travelers to consult multiple sources to make informed decisions.​

    LGBTQ+ Support at WPI

    Sexual Orientation Laws in the World (MAP)

    RAINBOW SIG (Special Interest Group of NAFSA: Association of International Educators)

    OutRight Action International

    International Lesbian and Gay Association

    National Center for Transgender Equality

    United States Department of State - LGBTI Travel Information

    Center for Disease Control LGBTQ Youth Resources

    National Center for Transgender Equality

    LGBT Rights Around the World - an interative map from TheGuardian.com of the legal rights of people in the LGBTQIA community

  • Students with Disabilities

    Academic Accommodations: Students with different physical, mental, and/or behavioral abilities who may need academic accommodations as part of the Global Projects Program (GPP) are strongly encouraged to speak with ID2050 instructors and/or project advisors at the start of the prep term to discuss supports they may need to be successful.  Due to the unique nature of project and group-based work, typical academic accommodations as listed on an accommodation letter may not always directly apply to your project experience. However, discussing your learning style, potential accommodation needs, and any questions and/or concerns with your professors and advisors at the start of the program can be an important step to ensuring a positive project experience. 

    To begin the disclosure process and facilitate a conversation with your faculty, you can submit your accommodation letters approved through the Office of Accessibility Services (OAS) student portal. If you need assistance, please contact the OAS.  

    If you have not previously disclosed a disability to the OAS, but think you may need academic accommodations, we encourage you to begin the intake process as detailed on the OAS website. If you need any assistance through the process, the OAS is available to assist via phone (508-831-4908), (accessibilityservices@wpi.edu), or in person at 124 Daniels Hall.  

    Accommodated Housing and/or Onsite Arrangements: Students with a documented need who may require onsite arrangements, including, but not limited to housing or transportation accommodations are strongly encouraged to contact GEO immediately following placement to discuss supports available onsite. If disclosure happens closer to departure, we will make our best effort to accommodate, however, accommodations may not be guaranteed.

    You can contact Global Experience Office via phone (508-831-4804) or email (global@wpi.edu) to set up an appointment.  

    Please note that there is a difference between documented housing accommodations and housing preferences. If you have not previously disclosed a disability to the OAS, but think you may need accommodations, we encourage you to begin the intake process as detailed on the OAS website. If you need any assistance through the process, the OAS is available to assist via phone (508-831-4908), (accessibilityservices@wpi.edu), or in person at 124 Daniels Hall.

    Resources:

  • Varsity Student-Athletes

    Student athletes should consider the following:

    Consult with Your Coach: It is essential that student-athletes consult with their coach about feasible terms to travel prior to the application process. Be sure to talk about prep-term commitments, like evening classes, along with addressing the term that you will be away.

    Arrival Date: Before committing to an off-campus program, student-athletes should confirm the arrival date of their program and make sure the date does not conflict with athletics, particularly during postseason. If a student commits to a program that departs prior to, or during, postseason they will likely forfeit their participation in postseason play. Students should address any conflict with arrival dates and postseason schedules as soon as possible by contacting their faculty advisors and their coach to discuss a plan for arrival. Late arrivals are only allowed at the faculty advisors’ discretion.

    With thanks to ASU Study Abroad and MSU Office of International Health and Safety for content and layout. 

  • Racial & Ethnically Diverse Students

    In the U.S. you might be classified by your ethnicity, but abroad, you may be identified first as an American. The people you meet will likely have an opinion about the U.S., and may be eager to tell you what they think, positive or negative.

    Whether or not people identify you as an American, they may make assumptions based on your physical appearance. Many people you encounter abroad will show a sincere interest in your culture. There may be people who stare at you or who are eager to touch your hair or your skin. Others may ask insensitive questions about your cultural heritage, physical features, or national origins. If you are abroad in an area where people have had little or no contact with minority students, people tend to be very curious, especially children.

    If somebody says or does something that is offensive to you, try to distinguish between a person who is genuinely curious about you and your culture and someone who has bad intentions. You may find yourself in some uncomfortable situations, and always remember to put your safety first. Be sure to constantly stay in touch with your support systems: family, friends, and your advisor and your Global Experience Office Program Coordinator!

    You can prepare yourself for the situations you may encounter by researching the minority and majority racial/ethnic composition of your host country and exploring its history of racial and ethnic relations.

    Tips to keep in mind

    • Remember that people abroad have different cultural norms and tend to be less “politically correct” than people in the U.S.
    • The more you integrate with the culture the less you'll stand out, but your skin, hair, or other features may still attract attention.
    • Research what kinds of contact and relations your minority group has had in your host country. You may also want to research immigration in general.
    • Be aware that people may generalize or incorrectly identify your ethnicity.
    • Learn more about other minority students’ experiences abroad. For example, you can talk to other minority students who have studied abroad or find information online.
    • Use your support network of peers, advisors and the Global Experience Office if you do face racial or discriminatory incidents ensuring you will have support to deal with it.
    • Be prepared if an incident does arise, but don't go abroad expecting racism or discrimination.
    • Look at international news sources to get a sense of current political and societal issues in your host country.
    • If you experience difficulties, don’t be afraid to contact your advisor, International SOS or the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate. They are available 24/7 to provide assistance.  

    Questions you may want to consider, research and ask about

    • What are the cultural norms of my host country?
    • Will I experience discrimination in the country I study in? Who can I contact if I do?
    • How is my ethnic group perceived in my host country? What kind of stereotypes are there?
    • How should I react if I find something to be offensive?
    • Is the person curious or do they have bad intentions?
    • Am I used to being part of the majority at home but will be a minority abroad? Or vice versa?
    • Will there be other minority students in my program?
    • Who should I contact if I do face racial or discriminatory incidents?
    • Will my advisors and the Global Experience Office staff understand and help me through any racial or discriminatory incident I may face?

    Resources for more information

    Content adopted from Diversity Abroad and ASU's Study Abroad Office.

     

     

  • Women

    When deciding where to go away, it is important to consider how gender norms vary depending on the location and culture of the host country.  As you browse program options, please consider the items and resources below.

    Diversity Abroad

    The State Department’s Information for Women Travelers

    Journeywoman.com

    Lipglossandabackpack.com

GPP Pre-Departure Preparation

All students in the Global Projects Program are required to complete the following mandatory pre-departure preparations:

  • Welcome Orientation (Canvas)

    The Welcome Orientation introduces students to the pre-departure process two terms prior to departure. A brief video reminds students of how GEO will communicate with their cohort, how to register for their project, and important next steps in completing required forms for GEO. A list of forms and requirements by Project Center is given to students in a Welcome Kit, which outlines important dates and deadlines. These deadlines are communicated via the students online portal and reminders are sent via email.

  • Know Before You Go: Travel Prep Orientation (Canvas)

    The Know Before You Go: Travel Prep Orientation addresses important next steps for travel off-campus at the start of the prep term. A video walks students through considerations for travel including personal health and safety, money and budgeting, and situational awareness. Themes addressed in this video will be returned to in the Site Specific orientation.

  • Sexual Assault Awareness & Prevention for Students Traveling Off Campus (Canvas)

    The Sexual Assault Awareness & Prevention for Students Traveling Off Campus is a series of modules, including a short video, that students will review on Canvas. The content in these modules is meant to build upon topics from previous online education and in-person workshops that all incoming students have participated in. Information is shared about bystander intervention, confidential resources on- and off-campus, and Title IX regulations in relation to sexual misconduct. This module is designed and maintained by the SDCC. 

  • International SOS Training Hub (Online Modules)

    All students traveling on international programs have access to training and onsite services provided by International SOS, a travel medical and security assistance provider.  To understand more about the services provided by International SOS and receive an introduction on travel health, safety and security information, students are strongly encouraged to complete all modules in the International SOS Training Hub

  • Site Specific Orientation (In-Person)

    At the Site Specific Orientation, the cohort will gather in-person with the Project Center Director, GEO staff member and on-site advisor(s) for a more in-depth review of safety issues and behavioral obligations specific to the project site. Discussion is led through a series of case studies.